What I read/listened to/watched — week 5

Well, folks, this is where the going gets tough. This week has been a killer. Work was rough, we both had a bit of a cold going and then I had to get on a train to go from London to Romania. Yeah, you heard that right. I cannot fly, so I take trains pretty much everywhere which means twice a year I take multiple trains to get to Brasov where my parents live. I even gave a talk about that — trains, I mean. You can read the transcript here.

All of the above have made for very limited reading, lots of listening and only repeat watching.

On the listening front, it was mostly politics shows on Spotify podcasts until I realised nobody has any other explanation than “these people are crazy” so I gave up trying to make sense of all of it. I listened to The Rest is Politics, The Bunker, Oh God What Now, the New Statesman podcast, all of which covered the past week in the UK at length. I came away terrified more than enlightened. I was genuinely wondering if I should listen to something like GB news to balance the views but I then realised that I would do a fair amount for balance but, as the song goes, I won’t do that.

Consequently, I had a proper listen to the latest Blindboy Podcast episodes. He’s done a new one on mental health and, if you’ve never listened to his mental health episodes, I genuinely recommend them. I have been going to therapy for a very long time and I find his approach to self care and self awareness very similar to that which my therapist supports; so there’s a lot about being mindful of your own needs, trying to “put your own mask on, before you help others” type of stuff which in the past seemed a bit selfish to me but now has become something I am slowly learning to include in my life.

I managed to finish the Superhero Complex and, as predicted last week, this was a significant disappointment, again, after Heidiworld. It seems all recent podcasts which claim to be reflecting on a personal history refuse to contextualise that personal history outside of people and places. So, the Superhero Complex is a podcast I would definitely not recommend, simply because there is zero reflection on either the character or the context in which this character takes shape. I am surprised this one made so many “best of” lists. I started listening to “The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe” and really just stumbled onto an episode about the death of Nichelle Nichols, who plays Lt Uhura in the original Star Trek series. I consider myself a bit of a geek but clearly not to the level where I can do an entire episode on NN, and I have to say it was a lovely listen, with the guys providing a genuine sense of why the character was so relevant and, of course, why a Black woman playing that type of character was equally important. So I’m going to keep at it. Sadly, all of the above means that I am now on the lookout for my next series to listen to so… stay tuned for something completely new next week.

Watch-wise, no news. I rewatched Blade Runner 2049 on the train and enjoyed it as much as I did the other 6 times :) Blade Runner is my favorite movie of all times and I was so worried about the sequel but I think they did a solid job of it and the more I watch it the more it speaks to me. It was an interesting watch especially as I was also reading about the new humanoid robot produced by Tesla and watching some of the demos (we’re clearly a long way off producing replicants, or even robots that can seamlessly balance the weight of their torsos).

I also started watching Blonde on Netflix but by that time Iwas in a strange hotel in Vienna and a bit woozy from the trip so I thought I might give it the attention it deserves and watch it one of these week nights. The first 15 minutes were not a comfortable watch, let me tell you that. However, I was completely pulled in by Ana de Armas’ performance so looking forward to actually finishing it.

Reading was dire this week. Other than obsessively refreshing the Guardian’s blog about the economy in the UK, I only managed to get to an article about Gwendoline Riley’s books, because the title appealed to me. Difficult People, it said and I though “hmm, that sounds like me”. The article is quite good and it made me want to buy her latest which might make it on my next month’s reading journal. I also took Ted Chiang’s Exhalation with me on the train and managed to get through the first two stories. Ted Chiang, if you didn’t know, is the man whose short story The Story of Your Life, (part of his first collection) inspired Arrival, one of the better scifis of recent years. And now I understand why: his inspiration is eclectic, his style is very smooth, while also managing to be specific and not too geeky. It’s like a really smart scientist trying to explain incredible breakthroughs to a room of non scientist friends. I cannot wait to read more.

But that my friends, is the extent of my consumption this week. Unless you count obsessively watching this woman’s Instagram stories. I am now a huge fan and planning to get a t-shirt with the phrase “Stand up straight, you look like a croissant” — which would also be true for me.

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CX Strategist and Design Director. Recovering Internet lover. Write about technology, design and what I watch/listen to/read.

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Bogdana

CX Strategist and Design Director. Recovering Internet lover. Write about technology, design and what I watch/listen to/read.